Stakeholders participated in a one-and-a-half-day workshop aimed at validating the national Gender Equality and Women’s Development and Ending Violence Against Women and Girls policies reflecting gender equality priorities in the Solomon Islands.
The event was hosted by the Ministry of Women, Youth, Children and Family Affairs (MWYCFA) Women’s Development Division (WDD), with support from Pacific Community’s (SPC) Human Rights and Social Development Division under the Government of Australia Progressing Gender Equality in the Pacific programme from 30 June to 1 July.
Stakeholders in Honiara gathered in person, joined by ‘online’ colleagues and technical experts in the hybrid event.
Gender equality stakeholders reviewed changes in the gender policy landscape, reviewed progress made and policy implementation priorities moving forward to 2027.
Participants assessed the outcome areas in the two policies to ensure that outcomes match with ongoing project and programme implementation, resource mobilisation and results frameworks.
Participants included key government ministries, civil society groups, service providers for survivors of family violence and development partners engaged in the policy review process.
Feedback from consultations during the review process highlighted how the policies focus programming efforts and helps to mobilise resources for gender equality.
Stakeholders emphasised that increasing collaboration on women’s rights has raised awareness about the benefits of gender equality across diverse sectors including health, finance, agriculture, fisheries, forestry, human resource management, policing and in the judicial system at national, province and community levels.
Dr Cedrick Alependava, Permanent Secretary of MWYCFA congratulated participants “for your invaluable time and commitment towards gender equality and women’s rights, these policies provide very important foundations for our collective efforts to ensure that all women and children are protected and benefit from inclusive sustainable development and that no one is left behind”.
Miles Young, Director HRSD, emphasised SPC’s substantial investment and commitment in supporting the Solomon Islands gender equality goals over the medium to long term; “we know that this is a long-term investment because it involves changing attitudes and behaviours and harmful stereotypes resulting in gender inequality”.
Looking forward, the MWYCFA will now finalise the policies before submission to cabinet while continuing to support advocacy and awareness raising activities in the policy outcome areas and supporting governance mechanisms, with the National Stakeholder Taskforce meeting later in 2022.